Pig (Michael Sarnoski, 2021, USA/UK)

Pig is a drama from first-time director Michael Sarnoski, co-written with Vanessa Block. The film marks another entry into Nicolas Cage's late-career renaissance. The actor went from being one of Hollywood's highest-paid, to taking on a number of roles that largely seemed to be for a paycheck. Increasingly, some of these low-budget films have been quite unique and challenging - Mandy. Others, like Jiu Jitsu and Primal are pure crap. Pig falls into the former camp. Cage plays a truffle hunter living in the Oregon wilderness, who hunts for truffles with his foraging pig. One day, his foraging pig is kidnapped and Cage is forced to go back to Portland. 

While the film has been marketed as something of a revenge thriller, and the film seems to be setting up to be a John Wick of the restaurant world, the film subverts that expectation very early on. It is clear that this film is not in fact a revenge thriller, but rather a drama about loss. We learn that Cage's character - Rob Feld - lost his wife and has never properly dealt with the trauma of that event. Going back to Portland forces him to deal with this buried trauma, and even after he learns his pig has been killed, it becomes clear that the film is not in fact about his desire for revenge after all. 

In supporting roles are Alex Wolff as Amir, Rob's business associate and something of a fixer within the food community. Adam Arkin plays Amir's father, with whom he has a poor relationship. This father son relationship forms another current running through the film. While Pig is not entirely successful at what it attempts to do, it is certainly unique and a film that is deserving of the attention it has received thus far. We are eager to see what Sarnoski does next. 


7/10

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